Game Preview: (Clinch Night) Toronto Maple Leafs v.s. Washington Capitals
Tonight could be the night.
When the buzzers go in the Leafs and Jets games, Toronto may officially have its first playoff birth in nearly a decade. It’s clinch night, baby.
We may be facing a very hot, streaking team in the Washington Capitals, and the Toronto Maple Leafs may not be starting their hot goalie James Reimer, but the allure of the clinch will propel us forward.
Ben Scrivens will likely get the start in the second of back-to-back games to give Reimer a rest. That’s OK, Scrivens has already beat the Capitals once this year.
The Leafs have played Washington twice so far, beating them 3-2 each time, once backstopped by Scrivens and once by Reimer.
The Leafs can sweep the season series with a win tonight.
The Caps are on a seven-game win streak heading into Tuesday’s game in Washington. They’ve taken control of their division and are looking to soon cement first place in it over the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets, meanwhile, are fighting for their playoff lives tonight when they play Tampa Bay. A loss, combined with a Leafs’ win, would almost certainly eliminate the Jets from playoff contention.
The Jets' only way left in would be winning their division. It’s exactly what the Leafs want to see – such a scenario would clinch a playoff birth for them.
The Leafs game gets underway first, so as the boys skate to victory, they’ll likely be looking up at the out-of-town scoreboards hoping to see Tampa Bay with the lead.
Go Leafs Go. Go Tampa Go. Let's make it official. Cheers.
Video recap of Leafs' win over Caps on Feb. 5 is below...